[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Dorchester County 5-7-74 as Ord. No. 11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The County Commissioners for Dorchester County, recognizing that our system of representative government is dependent in part upon the people maintaining the highest trust in their public officers, finds and declares that the people have a right to be assured that the financial interests of holders of and candidates for public office present no conflict with the public trust, and in compliance with Article 33, § 29-10, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, it is therefore the purpose of this chapter to promote the continued trust and confidence of the people of Dorchester County in the integrity of their public officers.
Editor's Note: Article 33, § 29-10, of the Annotated Code of Maryland was repealed by Acts 1979, ch. 513, § 1, effective July 1, 1979. For current provisions, see Article 40A, §§ 4-101 et seq., of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUSINESS ENTITY
- Includes a corporation, general or limited partnership, sole proprietorship, joint venture, unincorporated association, real estate investment trust or other business trust.
- Includes candidates for the county offices set forth herein, either for nomination and/or election to such office, who shall file with the appropriate election authorities for such office.
- Includes any gift, reward, honorarium or testimonial, whether or not it relates to the performance of official duties.
- Any legal or equitable interest, whether or not subject to an encumbrance or a condition, which was owned or held, in whole or in part, jointly or severally, directly or indirectly, at anytime during the calendar year for which a required statement is to be filed. "Interest" includes an interest in any stock or similar security; preorganization certificate or subscription; investment contract; voting trust certificate; limited or general partnership or joint venture; business trust or certificate of interest or participation in a profit-sharing agreement or in an oil, gas or other mineral royalty or lease; a certificate or interest instrument of participation in, or a certificate or instrument convertible, with or without consideration, into, or a guaranty of, or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing; a put, call, straddle or other option or privilege of subscribing to or purchasing any of the foregoing; or any other equity interest, however evidenced, which entitles the owner or holder thereof, directly or indirectly, alone or in concert with others, to receive or direct any part of the profits from or to exercise any part of the control over a business entity, as well as any interest which, conditionally or unconditionally, with or without consideration, is convertible thereto. "Interest" also includes an interest in a note, bond, debenture or any other evidence of a creditor interest. However, "interest" shall not include any interest held solely in the capacity of a personal representative, agent, custodian or trustee nor an interest in a time or demand deposit in a financial institution nor an interest in an insurance or endowment policy or annuity contract under which an insurance company promises to pay a fixed number of dollars, either in a lump sum or periodically for life or some other specified period.
- Includes any natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, unincorporated association or other organization, entity or enterprise.
- PUBLIC RECORD
- Includes all records available to the general public, maintained by state, county or federal agencies within Dorchester County and shall include, without limitation, such records of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Dorchester County, records of the Register of Wills of Dorchester County and records of the Supervisor of Assessments for Dorchester County.
All persons holding, and candidates for the following, county offices are required to file the statements provided for in this chapter:
Each person who shall become a candidate for any office set forth in § 95-3 hereof, after the effective date hereof, or who shall hold any office set forth above after January 1, 1975, shall file with the Clerk of the County Commissioners on or before the 15th day of April of each year during that person's term in office, or, in the case of a candidate, upon that candidate's filing for election, the statement required by this chapter for the calendar year immediately preceding such filing date; provided, however, that in the case of a candidate, the statement shall only be for that portion of the calendar year preceding the year in which the candidate files for election; provided, further, that this chapter does not apply to an incumbent during a general election year, unless he or she files for reelection.
Regardless of how many offices one (1) individual may hold or be a candidate for, an individual is only required by this chapter to file one (1) financial statement for each calendar year.
In the event that a candidate fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, he shall be deemed to have withdrawn his candidacy and be ineligible to have his name placed upon the ballot at the next primary or general election.
The Clerk of the County Commissioners shall, upon receipt of a financial statement in proper form, forward notification of such receipt to the local Board of Election Supervisors, the State Administrative Board of Election Laws and the Secretary of State.
All statements filed pursuant to this chapter shall be maintained by the Clerk to the County Commissioners and shall be made available by such Clerk, during normal office hours, for examination by duly registered voters of Dorchester County, who shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Clerk to the County Commissioners that they are, in fact, duly registered voters of Dorchester County; subject, however, to such reasonable fees and administrative procedures as the Clerk to the County Commissioners may establish from time to time. All statements shall be retained as public records for at least two (2) years from the date of their receipt by the Clerk to the County Commissioners.
The Clerk to the County Commissioners shall require that any person examining such statements shall record his name, home address and the name of the person whose statement was examined.
The Clerk to the County Commissioners shall provide forms for use in the filing of the statements required by this chapter.
The statement required to be filed by this chapter shall contain schedules disclosing the following interests of the person making the statement, together with the following information, for the calendar year for which the required statement is to be filed; provided that if any interest is a matter of public record in Dorchester County, it need not be listed, other than for notation under the appropriate heading of "interests of public records" or, if appropriate, "liabilities of public record" or, wheresoever appropriate, "of public record."
A schedule of all interests in or with respect to any real property in the state and all interests in or with respect to any real property outside of the state, this schedule to such interests shall include:
The nature of the property and the location, by street address, mailing address or legal description of the property.
The nature and extent of the interest held, including any conditions thereto and encumbrances thereon; monetary amounts need not be included so long as interests, conditions and encumbrances are identified.
The date when, the manner in which and the identity of the person from whom the interest was acquired.
The identity of any other person with an interest in the property.
A schedule of all interest in any corporation, whether or not the corporation does business with the state. This schedule as to each such interest shall include:
A schedule of each gift of property received by the person making the statement in excess of fifty dollars ($50.) in value and each gift of moneys in excess of fifty dollars ($50.), including the forgiveness of any liability, received at any time during the year for which the statement is filed by the person making the statement or by any other person at the direction or for the benefit of the person making the statement. This schedule as to each such gift shall include:
A schedule of all offices, directorships and salaries or employment held, at any time during the year for which the statement is filed, in any corporation or other business entity which does business with the county. For purposes of this subsection, "doing business" shall be defined as the entry into or transaction of or any combination of contracts or other legal dealings to, from or within the county or any agency thereof involving a consideration of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.) or more on a cumulative basis for the year for which the statement is filed.
A schedule of all liability to any person or business entity doing business with the county during the year for which the statement is filed, excluding retail credit accounts, as known to the person making the statement, this schedule as to each such liability shall include:
A list of all members of the immediate family of the person making the statement who have been, during the year for which the statement is made, employed by the county in any capacity. The term "immediate family" shall include only the spouse and dependent children. This list shall contain:
Such additional information as the person making the statement might desire.
The County Attorney shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter and may enforce the same by petition in the Circuit Court for Dorchester County or any other appropriate court for injunctive, declaratory or any other appropriate relief, provided that fifteen (15) days' prior written notice be given to the alleged violator, pursuant to the equity jurisdiction granted to the various Circuit Courts by virtue of Article 33, § 29-8, of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Editor's Note: Article 33, § 29-8, of the Annotated Code of Maryland was repealed by Acts 1979, ch. 513, § 1, effective July 1, 1979. For current provisions, see Article 40A, §§ 4-101 et seq., of the Annotated Code of Maryland.